A portion of land bordering Galveston Bay, which made up the West ranch in what is present day Clear Lake was originally developed by the Friendswood Development Company on land sold to Humble Oil and Refining Company (now ExxonMobil) by James Marion West in 1938.
The portion of Clear Lake City that was Houston's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) was annexed by the city of Houston in 1977 despite a grass-roots campaign by its residents to stop it. Their slogan was "Free The Clear Lake 25,000!" Lawsuits over the annexation resulted in the conversion of Houston city government from at-large city councilmen to the current-day nine district and five at-large council seats. Resulting was the fall of influence of the traditional developer-led power structure behind Houston government.